Depression isn’t something many of us like talking about, particularly men. Here at Slater Menswear, we’ve worked to open up the conversation on mental health year after year and 2019 is no exception.
Following on from our collaboration post with Andy’s Man Club for Mental Health Awareness Week and in preparation for World Mental Health Day on the 10th October, today’s blog is going to be all about how YOU could spot depression in someone close to you and how you can help them if they are struggling, information that could prove invaluable:
- Decreased Interest in Activities They Usually Enjoy
Is the person in question usually the life and soul of the party? Normally the first to say yes to a night out? Usually a bit of a workaholic?
If the person you’re concerned about is known for having an interest in a certain activity be it work-related or socialising and they appear to have lost this interest, no longer dedicating the time to this activity or having to really be encouraged, this may be a sign their mental health is suffering.
A decreased interest in going to work or socialising or a desire to be isolated/left alone is often a big sign of depression but can also be a red light that the person is trying to hide their struggle from people by not going out or spending long periods of time with people.
- A Change in Appearance/A Lack of Care for Their Appearance
This sign can display itself in many ways but one of the biggest is a change in appetite, leading to a shift in weight. This is a visible symptom that overtime, sufferers will begin to struggle to hide, be it that they’re eating excessively to comfort themselves or not eating enough as they have no appetite. A noticeable change in weight that can be connected with a distinct change in their eating habits can be something to be aware of.
Another physical sign someone is suffering from depression can be a lack of care or attention to their appearance. If a man begins to not stay on top of haircuts and grooming routines all of a sudden and is no longer making the same effort with their dress sense as they usually do, this can be a warning signal that something is wrong.
- Reckless Behaviour
Heads Up Guys, an online information centre about male mental health, list reckless behaviour as one of the key symptoms of depression in men.
If one of your male friends seems to all of a sudden be consuming more alcohol, begins smoking cigarettes or consuming them excessively or even starts to take an interest in drugs, this kind of behaviour can all signal a loss of control within their life and these kinds of behaviours are used as a release from reality.
Men taking parts in these kinds of reckless behaviours as a result of depression often see no issue with their actions or become incredibly defensive when confronted.
- Irritability/Short Temper
All of the major mental health advice sources list irritability or a short temper as a key symptom of depression in both men and women and a change in personality like that is something to look out for in someone you’re concerned about.
If you’re finding someone close to you is becoming very snappy, has a lack of tolerance for things that wouldn’t have bothered them at one time and is generally showing increasing signs of irritability that is out of character for them, this may be a signal that they are suffering from a mental health condition such as depression.
- Change in Sleeping Habits
This one may be harder to notice at first as if it isn’t someone you live with, you may not be aware of their regular sleeping habits but a change in sleeping patterns can over time to start to display itself in day to day life.
If someone appears to start oversleeping a lot and being late or they seem to be asleep very early every night all of a sudden, this can be a sign. If someone is also complaining of being tired a lot during the day or not being able to sleep at night, these too are signals.
If you’re unsure if someone you don’t live with is struggling to sleep at night, checking social media apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to see when they were last active first thing in the morning can reveal if they have been up in the middle of the night.
Depression is one of the biggest mental health problems people here in the UK suffer with and with around 25% of the population suffering from some form of mental health problem, it is important we all know the signs that someone could be suffering with depression.
So, what do you do if you suspect someone close to you is suffering with depression? The first thing to do is to try and speak to the person sensitively and compassionately. Don’t make any assumptions or try and self-diagnose them, just mention that you’ve noticed some changes and ask if there’s anything they want to talk about. Don’t push them to talk, just offer your time and make them know you’re not alone.
If someone is hugely resistant to talking, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 to discuss someone else, it isn’t just a helpline to talk about your own problems. The Samaritans can offer support and advice to anyone worried about someone they’re close to and may be able to help you learn how to get them to talk.
Depression is a mental health condition that affects your whole life and it can be a difficult battle to face alone, so keep an eye out on your friends and family and use these signs to help keep those closest to you safe from suffering with mental health alone.